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How ERISA Protects Your Rights In Employment Discrimination Cases

Federal laws prohibit job discrimination. In the event of a wrongful firing or discharge, you may able to seek damages through a discrimination lawsuit, while any employee benefits you are entitled to may be protected under the Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA). ERISA claims generally arise when a worker is denied benefits that have been previously agreed upon by an employer, benefits which can go along way towards protecting your health and your financial security while your other job related legal disputes are resolved.

Employee Discrimination

Employee discrimination is prohibited under a variety of federal laws which are administered through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The laws prohibit employers from making decisions regarding the hiring, firing, or promotion of their workers based on the following factors:

  • Age;
  • Race or color;
  • Sex or gender affiliation;
  • National origin;
  • Religion;
  • Disability;
  • Genetic information.

Employers who engage in discriminatory practices are subject to federal lawsuits seeking compensation for victims including lost wages benefits, and job reinstatement, in addition to facing fines and other penalties.

Employee Benefits and ERISA

The Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA) helps hold employers accountable for their actions while protecting the rights of workers. ERISA sets minimum standards for employee benefits programs, requiring them to be maintained and administered in a prudent and responsible manner, which includes following through on distributing benefits that were promised to employees.

As part of your employee contract, you may have been afforded a variety of different types of benefits through your job. Those which may be covered under ERISA include:

  • Health care benefits, such as medical, hospital, and prescription medication expenses, as well as any dental or vision benefits;
  • Retirement benefits and pension plans;
  • Vacation time and sick days;
  • Life and accidental death or disability insurance;
  • Benefits for you and your dependents, such as day care subsidies and college tuition programs;
  • Severance packages, providing compensation based on your length of service as well as healthcare, employment assistance, and other benefits.

In the event you are wrongfully denied benefits, you may be entitled to appeal the decision by filing an ERISA claim. For professional legal guidance in defending your rights, call or contact Bartolic Law online today and request a free consultation to discuss your options with our experienced Chicago ERISA attorney.

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